Every other Finn has been called with the aim of concluding an electricity agreement over the past six months. However, the majority of consumers see telemarketing as disruptive and would rather contact the seller on their own. Most would allow telemarketing only if the customer has consented to it.
In November, Local Power surveyed the attitude of consumers to the telemarketing of electricity and other products. The survey revealed that three out of four Finns see the telemarketing of electricity agreements as disruptive and over half of the respondents also doubted the claims and competence of the electricity telemarketers. Four out of five said that they would rather make contact with the electricity seller themselves than to receive calls.
Local Power’s Executive Director Toivo Hurme is not surprised by the outcome.
“The Finns have a reluctant attitude towards telemarketing in general; however, in the telemarketing of electricity, in particular, there has been the added problem of dishonest sales talks and downright scam attempts. The problem has remained unchanged for years,” Hurme says.
Last year, a survey of the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA) reached similar results, according to which only 8% of consumers had a positive attitude towards telemarketing. According to the Local Power’s survey, three out of five respondents were of the opinion that telemarketing should only be allowed with a prior consent given by the consumer. One third of the respondents would ban telemarketing all together.
“Local Power agrees with consumers. Finland should adopt a model based on the active consent by the consumer, which is also supported by the Consumers’ Union of Finland and Consumer Ombudsman. Then, telemarketing would only be allowed, if the consumer has consented to it,” Hurme says.
Local Power commissioned the survey from YouGov Finland. The data were collected in an electronic survey on 5–7 November 2018. The survey target group was Finns over the age of 18 and the total number of respondents was 1,007. The final group of respondents was weighted to represent the Finnish adult population in terms of age, gender and place of residence. The average confidence interval is approximately 2.8 percentage points in either direction.